Monday, 27 February 2012


Eventually there is a tipping point. The Afghan protests following the burning of the Quran by Americans in Baghram have escalated and have broken out across the country. Several deaths - first Afghan and now American - and a NATO shut-down have not slowed down the outrage.

Photo: MSNBC

The key to understanding the reaction to these events is simple. Muslims revere the Quran. Afghans are Muslim. Americans, allegedly trying to prevent Afghans in detention passing messages to insurgents deemed as Taliban sympathisers, incinerated copies of the Quran that were supposedly being used to pass on messages. The truth about the Afghans held in detention and to whom the messages were going was handled insensitively and with disrespect. US officials, even up to the US President himself have made attempts to apologise. In reality, however apologies don't always work, especially if they are seen as token and tensions are already high due to an over-long and unpopular occupation. The truth is the Afghan insurgency gains strength from just this sort of action.

Déjà vu

One day the Americans will need to leave Afghanistan and a dignified exit would always be the best way to go. The problem with occupation is that it is closely coupled with arrogance and the message that should be learned is that respect and humility is good. Neither have been shown and this is bound to accelerate calls for the Americans to go. History is testament to the fact that in Afghanistan, eventually, it is the Afghan way that prevails.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...